Malaria battle still on

Malawi needs rigorous efforts to protect everyone at risk of Malaria and to guard the remarkable strides it has made in fighting the disease.

The remarks were made by Maziko Matemba of the Health and Rights Education Programme (HREP Malawi) as Malawi joins the global community in commemorating the World Malaria Day which falls on 25 April Annually.

Through a statement Matemba stated the importance of highlighting and appreciating efforts made over the years to control Malaria.

Malaria is one of the major causes of illness and death in Malawi across all age groups.

Nonetheless progress on the disease is promising, between 2006 and 2015 mortality rate for children under the age of 5 declined to an estimated 64 deaths per 1000 live births.

This can be attributed to the programmes implemented by government through the ministry of health including donors and other multilateral institutions.

Presently, ministry of health is implementing the National Malaria Control Program which has assisted in scaling up efforts on prevention, treatment and care services.

The programme also targets pregnant women through distribution of insecticide-treated nets and residual spray in some districts such as Balaka, Mangochi and Nkhata-bay.

The Global Fund partnership, provides 56% of all international financing for malaria, and has invested more than US$13.5 billion in malaria control programs since the year 2002.

However the lock downs necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic have slowed down malaria prevention programmes such as the distribution of mosquito nets

This disruption to malaria prevention and treatment is causing increase in deaths from the disease and potentially will lead to a surge in deaths in subsequent years.

Children and pregnant women particularly remain at great risk.

This calls for high impact investments in education, prevention, diagnosis and treatment, including research and development and building stronger health systems.

Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria saving millions of lives.

According to the World Health Organization’s world malaria report 2020, 7.6 million malaria-related deaths have been averted since 2000.

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